Kremlin still hopes to draw official Minsk into trade war with Kiev
A member of the Board on Trade in the Eurasian Economic Union, Minister Slepnyov, said that the Eurasian Economic Union did not preclude introducing protective measures on the Customs Union market due to Ukraine’s signing of the Association Agreement with the EU.
It should be noted that Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia have already introduced unilateral restrictions on certain groups of goods from Ukraine, for example, on confectionery products, referring to internal reasons - to protect their markets under the import substitution policy. The Kremlin aspires to present unilateral measures taken by Belarus and Kazakhstan to restrict imports of Ukrainian goods, as joint actions of the Customs Union members in the EurAsEC – in order to put pressure on Kiev and strengthen the propaganda effect. However, official Minsk is not interested in siding with the Kremlin and participating in a trade war – quite the opposite, it hopes to increase trade with Ukraine.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.